Friday, January 5, 2018

Make Sure Your Learning and Knowledge Management Systems Really Work

By Cyndi Chadwik

Learning no longer requires participants, including an instructor, to be cloistered in one room at the same location. The development of Learning Management Systems (LMS) and associated Knowledge Management System (KMS) provide employers an opportunity to present information to staff that is consistent, easily digestible, and convenient.

However, the LMS/KMS is only as good as its accessibility, how searchable it is, and whether or not it returns accurate and useful information. “The things that happen in a learning management system are less than ten percent of the activities that real people pursue when they want to learn something,” says Tim Martin, a co-founder of Rustici Software. “If you want to learn something, you don’t go to an LMS, whether you have access to it or not—you usually go to Google or a co-worker.”
Developing and maintaining systems that deliver useful materials to employees when they actually need it is imperative. Everyone must be actively engaged in ensuring the correct information is available at all times.

Organizational change is easier to track, than departmental. One small shift in procedure may seemingly only affect immediate members of a group, but if a KMS article outlining the procedure is linked to others in a way that does not enable trickle-down updates, the user is ultimately presented with conflicting and confusing information. Their confidence in the information wanes, and the potential for them to bypass the KB/LMS altogether for the alternative (Google or a co-worker) increases.

The key is remaining on top of change management, and making sure the content in your LMS/KMS always reflects current and useful information.

  1. Provide LMS/KMS that encourages and provides easy feedback mechanisms
  2. Engage those who can quickly validate content accuracy and identify related material for incorporation
  3. Ensure the content is easily editable and available for immediate publication
Ultimately, a knowledge management system is built in an environment which encourages individual ownership, provides immediate communication and successfully provides consistent and accurate tools to its workforce.

Cyndi Chadwik is creative and analytical. She has a proven track record of resourcefully meeting challenges to reach the best solutions.

A natural leader, Cyndi is unafraid to assume the role of to being the go-to person, yet knows the value of being a great team player to develop effective cross-functional processes.

Connect with Cyndi on LinkedIn.

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